The other day I briefly referenced the fact that I’ve been thinking a whole lot about apocalyptic thinking- particularly in the context of the workplace.
A sizable portion of the reading I’ve been doing lately has to do with the development of positive corporate culture- a mixed bag of approaches to the office environment in the midst of changing realities in the wider cultural/societal environment.
So many of the concepts I’ve been reading about have one thing in common. Whether they use the specific terminology or not, they are advocating the eradication of apocalyptic thinking.
I’m in the process of trying to pull some of these ideas together- and add my own particular voice and perspective to the discourse. Doing so involves some definition of terms and exploration of apocalypticism- as both a body of mythological literature and a worldview.
I love the literature. GREAT stories- some memorable and colourful characters that persist in holding our imaginations. As an ideology? Not so much. The nature of apocalyptic worldviews lies at the heart of a boatload of our social, cultural, political and just plain ol’ human problems. That these issues lead to problems in the workplace is, to me, a logical extension of the fact that we inherit and adopt ideologies without necessarily being aware that we have done so.
I wrote this post over a year ago. It serves as something of an introduction to apocalypticism (as does the previous post that is linked in this one) and begins an approach to getting my thoughts on the connection of end-of-world thinking and general (and, by extension, workplace) dissatisfaction.
The Eschaton. The End of Days. It seems to be everywhere lately. There are television shows, movies, books and seemingly constant news articles about various ways in which society as we know it might be brought, abruptly, to a problematic conclusion.
There are viruses, plagues, earthquakes, aliens, and, pretty much everywhere you look, zombies! Zombies! ZOMBIES! From the Walking Dead to World War Z(ed)- they are among us and just waiting to rise and make life even more miserable.
I wrote here about societal anomie and how it leads to expressions of anxiety that include apocalyptic stories. The apocalyptic tradition has provided some of the best, and most enduring myths. They endure, in part, because periods of great collective social anxiety tend to be cyclical. As the stresses return again and again, the idea that there is something better (or at least different) that will redeem us while punishing those…
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